NNS Proposal: People Parties

Arthur Falls
Arthur Falls

Summary: A proposal to validate “proof-of-human” via a randomised video call in which participants direct their camera at their surroundings rather than their own faces.

Proposal: The proposal was comprehensive and clear. It was well discussed in the community. This post is published after the proposal has gone live and received a large number of “Accept” votes. However, when questions were raised on Twitter about the opportunity cost of applying labour to people parties instead of other potential features, many Accept voters indicated hesitance about the proposal. The public uncertainty but overwhelming vote in favour of the proposal indicates that, at least in the case of the People Parties proposal, the DFINITY Forum was not able to provide sufficient room for debate and advocacy to neuron holders.


“1/3 We voted yes on People Parties and Canister Safe Upgrades.  While we voted yes on People Parties we agree with the sentiment of @cycle_dao that there are much bigger fish to fry.”

Rationale: Currently the premier social media projects on the IC, DSCVR & Distrikt, are suffering from a large number of spam and bot accounts. In the absence of a means for users to prove that they are human, this problem is expected to grow with time.

The ability to prove that an account is controlled by a human is a powerful tool currently absent from blockchains without the use of a centralised intermediary.

Concerns: The people parties proposal has universally been considered a good thing. However, there are two main pushbacks:

  1. It is not clear what the opportunity cost of the foundation working on this proposal is.

  2. Proof-of-human projects are under development by Fleek, Modclub, and Identity Labs. People parties could compete or displace ecosystem participants.

Discussion: A decentralised proof-of-human solution is extremely valuable as a shield against bots, spam, and an enabler of democracy over plutocracy. It is something we should look forward to seeing realised. People Parties appears to be a high-quality candidate developed by a premier team. However, it seems strange to address this issue at a time when the IC community is requesting so many different features.

The issue of DFINITY competing with other projects is also worth considering. This could have far-reaching consequences for the health of the ecosystem. However, the Internet Identity app, created by the foundation, has inspired other builders. It is not unreasonable to suggest that the same will be true of People Parties.

More than anything, the issue raised by People Parties is opportunity cost. What features are being deprioritised to achieve this? Currently, the foundation does not include the expected engineering cost and completion time of features it brings to the community in motion proposals. For effective governance participation to take place, this needs to change. Additionally, some voters have expressed confusion with the motion proposal format, something else that should be considered in the future.

Conclusion: While we believe it to be a highly valuable addition to the IC feature set, cycle_dao voted No on the People Parties proposal.

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